Transfer Students

Admission Eligibility

In order to be eligible for transfer into the University of Florida as an astronomy major, the prospective student must satisfy the transfer admission requirements of the University of Florida. Information for transfer students, provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, should also be sought. Note that the requirements are different depending on whether the student has an Associate of Arts from a Florida community college or state university other than UF and is thus covered by the state's articulation agreement. Astronomy is technically a limited admission program, and therefore admissions to the major may be competitive; however, this depends on the space available and is usually not a problem.

Astronomy Program Preparation

Transfer students seeking admissions for the astronomy program should take the Analytic Geometry and Calculus series, MAC 2311, 2312, and 2313, and the General Physics with Calculus 1-2 series, PHY 2048 and 2049, along with their respective lab courses, PHY 2048L and 2049L; General Physics 1 Lab and General Physics 2 Lab. The course equivalency rule for the statewide-common-course numbering system applies; for example, PHY 1048 is considered equivalent to PHY 2048. If the student is enrolled in a private college or in an out-of-state college, they should take the nearest equivalent courses to these. The grades in these courses are a major determinant for acceptance at UF, and they are also a fairly strong indicator of your prospects for success in the astronomy program.

Students expressing having an interest in having some astronomy coursework done prior to UF should be aware that there are currently no institutions in the state of Florida that offer AST 3018 and 3019, Astronomy and Astrophysics 1-2; the introductory astronomy courses for the major. Some private colleges in Florida may have approximately equivalent courses, and some out-of-state universities do have such courses, but they're quite rare. It is not recommended that you take courses for non-science majors such as AST 1002, Discovering the Universe; AST 2007, Solar System; or AST 2008, Stars and Galaxies; before coming to UF. Such courses do not count towards the major and do little to prepare one for the major courses. If the prospective student wishes to take one or two of those courses to aid in making the decision whether to pursue an astronomy major as a matter of interest in the subject there's no penalty for doing so. A grade of less than B in such a course is not of itself a disqualification but is at least a serious red flag that you may not be successful in the major. A grade of C+ or lower along with other negative factors might adversely impact your chances of admission.

Astronomy Major for Transfer Students

The coursework required for the astronomy major depends on which degree the student is seeks to purse; the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). The math and physics courses required for the B.Sc. closely parallel those required for the physics major; one of the principal differences is the general chemistry requirement (CHM 2045, 2045L, 2046), but there are a few others also. Because of this similarity some astronomy students opt to double major in physics. If one would like to double major in astronomy and physics, they should consult with Dr. Amlan Biswas, Undergraduate Coordinator in Physics.

The suggested semester plans for astronomy majors entering as freshmen both include taking AST 3018 and 3019 in the second year. Obviously this isn't possible for a junior transfer student except in those extremely rare cases noted above when the prior school has equivalent courses to those. Because those courses must be completed before any of the 4000-level courses are taken, and the 4000-level courses are normally offered only one per semester, the practical effect is to shift the program for such students by one year. The required course offerings for the major beyond the 3000 level are prescribed according to a two-year cycle, as laid out in the offered undergraduate astronomy courses.

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B.Sc. 5-semester Plan

The B.Sc. semester plan for a fall junior transfer student is a truncated version of the one for an incoming freshman. In this table the term "Elective" can refer to one of three categories of courses: (1) courses which can be used towards the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree requirements; (2) courses which can be used towards a double major in physics; and (3) true "electives," courses which students take as a free choice, not to satisfy any particular requirement.

Fall (1st year)

  • AST 3018 – Astronomy & Astrophysics 1
  • PHY 3101 – Introduction to Modern Physics
  • GenEd/ PHY elective
  • GenEd/ PHY elective
  • Elective
  • Total: 15 credit hours
  • Spring (1st year)

  • AST 3019 – Astronomy & Astrophysics 2
  • AST 3722C – Observational Techniques 1
  • MAP 2302 – Elementary Differential Equations
  • GenEd/ PHY elective
  • Elective
  • Total: 15 credit hours
  • Fall (2nd year)

  • AST 4723C – Observational Techniques 2
  • AST 4000-level
  • PHY 3221 – Classical Mechanics 1
  • GenEd/ PHY elective
  • Foreign Language course (if not already)
  • Total: 15-16 credit hours
  • Spring (2nd year)

  • AST 4000 course
  • PHY 4222 – Classical Mechanics 2
  • PHY 3323 – Electromagnetism 1
  • GenEd/ PHY elective
  • Elective (or completion of Foreign language)
  • Total: 15-17 credit hours
  • Fall (final semester)

  • AST 4000 course
  • AST 4911 – Undergraduate research (individual)
  • PHY 4324 – Electromagnetism 2
  • PHY 3513; 4422; 4523; 4604
  • Total: 12 credit hours

  • B.A. 5-semester Plan

    The semester plan for the B.A., again assuming the student enters in fall, is simpler than that for the B.Sc. In this table the term "Elective" can again have any of three meanings, but one of those is different from before. The three are: (1) CLAS degree requirements; (2) preprofessional requirements for any program the student is undertaking in addition to astronomy, such as business, law, medicine, or education; and (3) free choices, as before. If the student wishes to use AST 4723C, Observational Techniques 2, as one of the required courses for the major it could replace one of the electives in Fall for the second or third year. The displaced elective could then replace one of the AST 3000- or 4000-level courses elsewhere.

    Fall (1st year)

  • AST 3018 – Astronomy & Astrophysics 1
  • GenEd/ elective
  • GenEd/ elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Total: 15 credit hours
  • Spring (1st year)

  • AST 3019 – Astronomy & Astrophysics 2
  • AST 3722C – Observational Techniques 1
  • STA 2023 – Intro to Statistics 1 (optional)
  • GenEd/ elective
  • Elective
  • Total: 15 credit hours
  • Fall (2nd year)

  • AST 3000-/4000-level
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Foreign Language course (if not already)
  • Total: 12-14 credit hours
  • Spring (2nd year)

  • AST 3000-/4000-level
  • AST/PHY 3000-/4000-level or science elective*
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective (or completion of Foreign language)
  • Total: 15-17 credit hours
  • Fall (final semester)

  • AST/PHY 3000-/4000-level
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Total: 12 credit hours

  • *Science elective is one of the following: AST 2007, AST 2037, GLY 2010C, GLY 2042, GLY 3105C, MCB 3703, PHY 2464, PHY 3101, PHZ 4710, SWS 2007.

    Both semester plans are simply suggestions as to how the major requirements might be satisfied within the five-semester allotted time and the 137-credit limit (the latter assuming that the student brings in no more than 64-68 credits, excluding credits by exam such as AP, IB, or AICE).